Serving Clients in Knox, Blount, Anderson, Loudon, Sevier & Roane Counties

I Received Divorce Papers, What Should I Do First?

The first step in dealing with a divorce is hiring a good divorce lawyer. There is no such thing as a simple divorce, and having professional support is important for everybody who wants to navigate the process. A divorce in Tennessee can only end in two ways, a settlement or a trial. A good divorce lawyer can help you get through the first with their skill at negotiation, and they can get you through the second with their legal acumen.

The first thing that your divorce lawyer will do in most cases is file a counter-complaint that disputes any false or questionable claims made by the plaintiff. If either the original complaint or a counter-complaint alleges misconduct by either party, it will be followed by an injunction that prevents the sale of shared property and some interactions between the two parties. The divorce will then need to be settled through either a settlement or a trial. Your divorce lawyer will be able to advise you about proper behavior while the divorce is proceeding, and this advice will be very important because your behavior during a divorce can have a significant impact on the proceedings.


A settlement is quicker, easier, and cheaper than a full trial, and most divorces do end with one. A settlement is essentially a negotiated agreement between the two parties that determines their rights and obligations after the divorce. It will handle the division of shared property, any required or restricted actions, and obligations towards any children. This can include things that a judge cannot impose during a trial, which means that a settlement will usually make everybody happier than a trial.

Your divorce lawyer will take the lead during the settlement negotiations. They will do everything that they can to make sure that you get a fair deal. A divorce attorney will be familiar with negotiating strategies and past divorce cases, which makes them better equipped to handle the negotiations than most other individuals. They will also be free of any emotional attachment to the case, which will help to keep their head clear and keep the negotiations going smoothly.


A trial will only follow if the two parties cannot reach an acceptable settlement. Your divorce lawyer will represent you in this trial and do all that they can to make sure that the judge rules in your favor. An individual is entitled to represent himself in court, but a lawyer’s skill and experience can make all of the difference in a trial.

No matter how your divorce proceeds, a divorce lawyer can help you avoid legal pitfalls and make sure that negotiations work out in your favor. A divorce is a confusing and stressful time, and nothing is more useful than having a professional supporting you through it. Find a divorce lawyer to help you before you do anything else after you receive divorce papers to make sure that you don’t make any early mistakes that you will live to regret in the future.